I bought the Merchant & Mills Workbook when it was first published and have been looking through over time, just not got down to sewing a pattern from it. Finally I decided to try the Curlew dress [photographed above] when I found a lovely inky blue linen at Fabrics Galore. It’s a bias cut dress, with skinny sleeves and a curved waist seam on the back. There is also a curlew top and sleeveless T-shirt included, the sleeveless top has different pattern pieces and the top is that combined with the dress sleeves.
Pattern: The Curlew Dress
Fabrics: Pure linen from Fabrics Galore
Pattern description: ‘A bias-cut dress is sexy. It will drape, flow ad flute as it moves with your body, skimming your curves to make you feel like a screen siren.’
Pattern Sizing: I cut out the size 12 and could have dropped a size on the top and sleeves for a more fitted look. Overall the fit is good.
Did it look like the photo/line drawing on the pattern once finished? Yes, pretty much.
What did you like or dislike about the pattern? It was fairly quick to trace off the pattern and construction wise I did it my way. Starting with the bust darts, joining the back pieces together and then the front & back st the shoulder seams. I put the sleeves in flat and then sew up the arm and side of the dress.
Did I make any pattern alterations or design changes? The only changes I made were for fitting. The sleeve ballooned at the back armhole when I tried the finished dress on, so I altered the sleeves at the armhole and also had to make alterations to the bust darts as it was very baggy and odd looking.
Would I sew it again or recommend to others? Not sure I’d make it again as it does swallow a lot of fabric 3m in total.
Conclusion: Overall I am happy with the dress, whether I wear it a lot – the jury’s out on that. Below is me, twirling!
all the black and white images are form the Merchant & Mills workbook.